David Falconer AM

b. 1877 Blairgowrie, Perthshire, Scotland. d. 06/04/1918 Portsmouth, Hampshire.

DATE OF AM ACTION: 24/03/1918 Freshwater, Isle of Wight.

David was the son of William and Catherine Falconer and grew up in Blairgowrie, Perthshire, Scotland.. He was the youngest of their three children, and his father was a wood merchant. It is known that he was married and was living in Leuchars, Fife at the time of his death. His widow received his Albert Medal privately at the Mercantile Marine Office in Dundee on 3rd May 1919.



On the 24th March, 1918. the British S.S. ” War Knight” was proceeding up Channel in convoy, in company with the United States Oil Carrier ” O. B. Jennings.” About 2.30 a.m. the ” War Knight” struck the other vessel on the starboard side abreast the bridge. Flame and fumes of naphtha appear to have spurted out of the ” O. B. Jennings,” rushed the whole length of the ” War Knight,” and set her on fire. The after part’of the “0. B. Jennings “.also was soon burning furiously and the ship’s swung togetther, the ” War Knight” being to leeward of the ” O. B. Jennings ” and consequently completely enveloped in the smoke, fumes .and flames from the weather ship. Immediately after the collision flames swept across the top of the engine-room through the open skylight. . Mr. Faiconer stood in the flames and shut tJie skylights down to prevent the fire-from entering the engine-room. Later on, when the third engineer and a fireman, who had remained below, made their way on deck, the former was severely burnt and gassed, and Mr.. F’alconer dragged both men to a place where there were less flames and fumes, and then put them into the engineers’ messroom with others whom, hie had’-collected, from their bunks, and by breaking tine skylight he assisted tihem’all to’get on the boat deck. Finally, although he could not swim he took off’ his own lifebelt ‘and put it on .fihe third engineer, and did not leave the ship until he was satisfied that) there were no others in need of assistance. Mr. Falconer displayed the greatest gallantry in rendering these services; but he was so injured that he subsequently succumbed in hospital.